Improving the Effectiveness of Industry Certification + Certificate/Degree Pathways

Workcred is committed to supporting Greater Texas Foundation’s mission to help more Texas students earn a degree or credential after high school through this project to improve the effectiveness of credentialing pathways. A diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce system is central to Workcred’s mission of strengthening workforce quality and is the focus of several of our projects, including this one.

To do this, Workcred is partnering with Houston Community College and Texas Southmost College to better align their industry credential pathways with regional labor market needs and better support low-income and first-generation learners to complete industry certification + certificate/degree pathways, earn postsecondary credentials of value, and enter the workforce. Texans who complete those pathways will be better prepared with the skills regional employers seek.

This project will bring together stakeholders – including faculty, administrators, and employers – to determine a common understanding of the needed competencies and the credential pathways to achieve them. Additionally, Workcred and its partners will examine and update institutional policies relevant to these pathways in order for them to maintain their alignment in the future. The project will also leverage the learning about metrics and processes of credential pathways at community colleges to support activities on workforce alignment.

Many Texas community colleges have implemented or are in the process of implementing pathways which support learners to earn an industry certification and another credential (two-year degree or certificate) to better prepare them for employment. Existing research reflects that these types of credential pathways can be beneficial to learners but show differential impacts in terms of wages for different learner populations. There is a need to understand the policies and processes which lead to more equitable outcomes and better wages for learners who complete these credential pathways.

Funded by:

Project Partners: